Doc Emrick tells the odd tale of the 1932 NFL Championship Game


In December 1932, the Chicago Bears were set to host the NFL Championship Game against the Portsmouth Spartans, who would later become the Detroit Lions. Because of recent blizzards and concerns about cold gameday temperatures, though, Bears owner George Halas decided to move the game indoors to Chicago Stadium.

The three-year-old venue was not built for football and had just hosted a circus. Needless to say, the championship game that ensued was one of the strangest in league history. It also played a role in a few major rule changes that defined the league’s future decades.

Here’s a transcript of the full story:

Mid-December, 1932. The NFL Championship game between George Halas’ Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth, Ohio Spartans. The Bears were the home team for the title game. But, early in the week, the winds were blowing cold off Lake Michigan, there was already snow on the ground, and the forecast wasn’t good. So, even though the Bears home turf was Wrigley Field, with the NHL Blackhawks out of town and the circus just having left, Halas decided that the championship would take place indoors at three-year-old Chicago Stadium.

Already his Bears had an advantage in that Spartans star Dutch Clark would be absent, back at Colorado College coaching basketball. Halas’ lineup included at least two future Hall of Famers, the “Galloping Ghost” Red Grange and the legendary Bronco Nagurski.

Chicago Statdium already had dirt down on its floor from the circus, aromatic dirt that it was. It was recirculated dirt the stadium kept for all such events and, according to one report, the dirt included parts of elephant tusks, cigar butts, and what had been – uh – left behind by the animals.

But there were some other challenges for the two teams.

The Field could only be 80 yards long, including end zones, because of the arena floor. So 60 yards goal line to goal line and only 45 yards wide, narrower than normal. Goalposts had to be moved to the goal line. The teams agreed there would be no field goal attempts but extra points could be kicked.

So, on December 18, 1932, 11,200 fans came through the turnstiles.

There were some odd situations. One kick hit a Blackhawks advertising sign. Another struck the organist.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth, without the Spartans’ star Clark, had to play a strong defensive game, and it worked. It was scoreless into the fourth quarter. Finally, the Bears broke through. As required by the rules at the time, Nagurski dropped back the necessary five yards behind the line of scrimmage and threw a soft pass to Grange for a touchdown.

The Spartans protested it wasn’t five yards but the officials ruled it was a legal pass. Tiny Engebretsen kicked the extra point through the uprights, into the second balcony, and the Bears added a safety to win 9-0.

In the aftermath of the game, the NFL decided to keep the goalposts on the goal line, and they stayed there for another 41 years. The forward pass only had to be behind the scrimmage line, no longer five yards back. The Spartans returned to Ohio to play in Portsmouth for one more year before moving to Detroit to become the Lions.

As it turned out, the weather forecast was wrong. On game day, the temperature was 20 degrees. 20 degrees above. They probably could have played it outdoors after all. 

While Chicago Stadium closed after 65 years, was demolished in 1995, and the site is now a parking lot for the much larger United Center, the Bears are over a century old and winners of nine NFL titles, including their first one ever under a roof, 89 years ago.

-by Doc Emrick

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

13. Dak Prescott (DAL)

12. Kirk Cousins (MIN)

11. Daniel Jones (NYG)

10. Matthew Stafford (LAR)

9. Deshaun Watson (CLE)

8. Aaron Rodgers (NYJ)

7. Jalen Hurts (PHI)

6. Trevor Lawrence (JAX)

5. Lamar Jackson (BAL)

4. Justin Herbert (LAC)

3. Josh Allen (BUF)

2. Joe Burrow (CLE)

1. Patrick Mahomes (KC)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!